It’s that time of year again where the holiday spirit brings smiles and joy to families all around the world. For those who have recently recovered from drug or alcohol addiction, it can be especially exciting as it may be their first holiday season fully sober. While this is an amazing opportunity to celebrate their sobriety, it can be a challenge for them to avoid cravings for drugs or alcohol as they may see them as ways to enhance the time spent celebrating. Different stressors surrounding the holidays can also increase the chances of a relapse.
How To Help Them Safely Enjoy the Holidays
One of the easiest ways to help a loved one avoid the use of drugs or alcohol is to limit the amount of stress surrounding preparations and planning for each holiday. Don’t restrict them from helping at all though as this can make them feel like a burden or that they aren’t capable of helping out. Instead, give them easy tasks they can accomplish and stop whenever you notice them getting too flustered or overwhelmed.
If you do notice them struggling, simply ask how you can help. Doing so isn’t overstepping boundaries or being intrusive as you’re showing you care and want to make the day as enjoyable for them as possible. Little things like not serving alcohol or taking some time to be a shoulder to cry on for them can make a world of difference. Let other family members and friends that will be around know ahead of time about the situation so that they can better understand.
Not Everyone Knows How To Approach Someone in Recovery
Part of preparing holiday attendees is educating them on the basics of how addiction works. To them, it may not seem like a big deal to have a single drink with the family but this can be what leads an individual to start drinking again. Explain to them that the loved one in question may seem extra anxious or depressed and that these are normal to feel during the holidays while in recovery.
Another way to help is one that may take more consideration. Make sure that when you’re inviting friends and family over that you aren’t bringing someone around that causes drama or stress. Surrounding someone who recovered from addiction with loved ones who support them can bring the joy back into how they view the holidays. There shouldn’t be any judgement, assigning blame or negative comments directed towards their condition or experience.
If Your Loved One Is Still Struggling, Recommend Treatment
While proper drug and alcohol addiction treatment should equip you with the tools needed to successfully avoid relapse and overcome cravings, the added pressure of the holidays can prove to be a challenge. In these cases it’s important to talk to them in private about seeking out additional help to get them through. This doesn’t mean going through the rehabilitation process, it’s more for them to find therapy or counseling specific to addiction recovery so they can get help finding what works for them.
For questions or concerns about addiction recovery, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Baystate Recovery Services for a confidential consultation. Our staff is trained in all aspects of addiction treatment and can help you make sure you’re able to properly support your loved ones this holiday season and beyond.